A little bidding war erupted this week over the rights package to The Day of the Triffids, which is evidently seen as ripe for a remake. On one side was Warner Bros. and Harry Potter director David Yates; on the other was Mandate Pictures and Sam Raimi. Mandate won the auction, and Mr. Raimi and his longtime producing partner Robert Tapert will produce the Triffids remake.

Deadline offers up a few details, saying that Sam Raimi has been a fan of the film since childhood, and that he’d like to direct the remake.

This rights package doesn’t include a script, however, so Mandate and Ghost House Pictures will have to hire someone to pen a new script. The package does include the rights to John Wyndham‘s original 1951 novel, so the new film could conceivably contain some of the novel’s elements that the 1962 film left out.

The Day of the Triffids, in both novel and movie form, tells of a meteor shower that creates a beautiful light in the night sky. But the light is so bright that it blinds almost everyone who sees it. Protagonist Bill Mason, in the hospital with his eyes bandaged due to an accident, escapes being blinded. Eventually leaving the hospital, he finds a transformed, blinded London, with remnants of society scrambling to survive. (The post-hospital scenes of the book are reportedly what inspired 28 Days Later.)

In the book, triffids are an unusual plant species:

capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behavior: they are able to move about on their three “legs”, appear to communicate with each other and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill and feed on the rotting carcasses of their victims.

The book is resolutely determined not to offer explanations for the triffids or the meteor shower (which might have been man-made) while in the original film the triffids are shown to have been seeded on Earth by a previous meteor shower. Regardless, the end result is the same: blinded humanity, already in shambles, becomes easy prey for the triffids, who act as a dangerous living symbol for the forces that are destroying our species.

In addition to the ’62 film, there have been two television mini-series versions of the story. The latest was in 2009, which begs the question of why this seems like a particularly good time for a feature remake. But if Mr. Raimi wants to make it, things will happen…

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